Juve let heart rule the head


Were you impressed by how smartly Juventus opened last night, pressing Barcelona into conceding a corner?  It was an ambitious opening.  In the days after we beat Barcelona in 2012 one journalist took all sorts of abuse online for recoiling against the suggestion Celtic put on a ‘brave’ performance.

He conceded Celtic’s was a brilliant performance, but defending your 18 yard line was more sensible than brave.  What Juventus did last night, pressing Barcelona, leaving space at the back, was brave.  It was foolish too.

Juventus are a remarkable team and have just completed one of the best seasons in their history.  They had a right to think they could have a go at Barcelona.  They came close too, for a while after they equalised Barca were penned back, but the game turned when Lionel Messi found 50 yards of space ahead of him.  You can’t leave Messi with that sort of freedom.

Three minutes into the game Juventus fans would have been encouraged, they had already forced Barca back and made an attempt at goal but the cost of all this expansionism was space in their own box.  Even this great Juventus team should have gone into yesterday’s game knowing their limitations.

If they played within them, were they good enough to sneak a win against Barcelona?  Quite possibly.

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  1. Som mes que un club on

    Club Santos Laguna President Alejandro Irarragorri says Mexico and the United States can do many positive things together in football, and relishes the opportunity to play and work in different communities across the border.



    Santos, having just won its fifth Liga MX title, will take on Apertura 2014 Liga MX Champions Club América in Dallas, Texas in a “Champion of Champions” match scheduled for July 20. It is Irarragorri’s third league title and fourth overall including the Apertura 2014 Copa MX trophy.



    The club sat down with Irarragorri ahead of that game after its Championship season to discuss why turning attention to fans in the USA is so important, its relationship with Celtic FC, Pedro Caixinha, and the institution’s focus now and for the future.



    SL: What are some of the biggest achievements of this team and company since you have been here?



    AI: Since we took over nine years ago, there have been a lot of changes yet everything keeps working in the same way in terms of the same passion and growing our business by serving the community. We decided to enter into this big enterprise of changing the way football was being practiced — and I mean off the field. I think that was a great moment and great opportunity as the industry was changing overall. I had the chance to experience the UK and Premier League and how it developed. Mexico was just at that stage of things. I guess in a way, the fact that none of the directors come from the football industry – and I mean this respectfully – that they have a different vision and they envision it as a normal business; not something that has to be treated differently. (We have been using) best practices that are a part of many successful companies in the world.



    We started by growing different areas of the organization from communications to marketing; operations to administration. We went to visit as many teams as we could to set examples and try to compare notes, so that we could understand the best practices at the time. We were blessed in terms of the way we were received, with Celtic in particular, which not only opened doors to their organizations, but they helped us to understand and be welcome in many other clubs, as Celtic is a very cherished club in the European atmosphere. Celtic has something very special other than being our big brother, and we were able to understand and apply their best practices, having our people understand them.



    More than 40 of our colleagues have been in different stages in Europe working and being prepared for the challenges that we have going forward. In the end, you need the infrastructure as well — it’s definitely a very important part of what we are aiming at and trying to do. We, as an organization today, are much more dependent on our processes than we are on certain people. Of course people are the ones who make a rich company in every sense of the word, but we are not dependent on one or the other. Even without me, (for example), the company can still go forward.



    SL: What are some of the clubs in Europe which really stood out and made an impression on you?



    AI: Sevilla, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester City. Everton had a lot to do with some of the things we were able to put into place. If I had to mention one more team I would say for our youth development, Athletic Bilbao was a very important team for us to understand and try to develop certain processes in terms of youth formation. The first and more recognized for us in terms of how we developed our methodology was definitely Celtic.



    SL: Santos has a strong relationship with Celtic. What are some things we need to do in order to show the strength of that relationship even more as we move forward internationally?



    AI: I think the first reason, the only reason, why the relationship is strong is because both teams share the same philosophy — what is football for, and how can it benefit the community? Sharing those same thoughts in our roles will keep us united for years to come. I think we have made progress. If you ask me, we are in debt to them because we have gained quite a lot out of our relationship and there is no amount of money to repay that.



    I would like to act more together as brands for the US market, as I think this could be and would be very attractive, with us playing games together. All this friendship, all this partnership, and we haven’t been able to play a game together in the USA. I would love to do that in, say, Chicago or Boston for example. That is an objective we need to put our hands on to work with. Do more things sports-wise, in terms of players’ development. We brought in Marc Crosas who played there and ended up a champion with us, and he’s now having success with other teams. We are underestimating the power what both teams have together, so we need to commit to doing more in that direction.



    SL: Why is it important for Santos to be connected to the USA and grow its brand there?



    AI: I think that no other country in the world has the potential that Mexico has, in terms of having a market of more than 30 million Mexican fans in the United States. It is an expansion of our territory in many ways. We have a very powerful fan base and really, the other thing is I believe that Mexico and the US have a lot to do together. I definitely believe we are stronger together than we are separate. If we were able, and if our leagues could have more interaction, we would be stronger in many ways. We share a very large border and the same objective, and I believe we would be very powerful if we were able to understand it and take advantage of that.



    SL: When Santos goes into the United States, what are our biggest priorities? (Champions of Champions vs. America, for example)



    AI: Well, first, that is game we have to win . And we have to do the same exact things we do when we play out of our stadium. We have two powerful things — one of course is on the marketing side, trying to present our brand, and the brands of our sponsors who are very important parts of our team. The other is Warriors of Heart (Guerreros de Corazon), which is philosophically ingrained in everything we do. More than show, we want to share within the community — in this case the US community — how we are working through sport to make people’s lives better. We have to share that. Those things are key.





    SL: On Santos Laguna’s location in Torreón:



    AI: We come from the desert, where it’s very difficult to create value and survive on this soil. (That challenge) gives the team a powerful tool because we have to adapt ourselves constantly to different circumstances. I believe it truly makes the spirit of a warrior, and when you combine that passion and spirit of a warrior with the passion to serve others, I think you have a very powerful equation.



    SL: Share your thoughts on Santos becoming Champions with the youngest team in Liga MX, and just after we had rebuilt the squad.



    AI: Life is full of cycles. We had a very good cycle with very good players. Some of them were with us for many years, and some for less periods of time. But we were very privileged to have those players who really made Santos’ history through December 2014 very successful.



    We expect a lot from how our players should live daily in terms of nutrition, physical programs, commitment, how they live their (outside) lives. They arrive at seven or eight in the morning and leave at two or three in the afternoon, and we are probably the only team, at least in Mexico, who is doing that now a days. And it’s not only a direction from the President, or the Coach, it’s a requirement to create a team. We have been doing this since 2011 and it’s one thing is to be ordered to it, but it’s another to do it because the player understands it is necessary. (He has) to be convinced and understand the benefits which living in this process gives (him).



    Our new generation is a nice fresh start to this. Our youth players were ready to take an opportunity, and they’ve showed it very nicely throughout the season and the championship. Another thing is, we don’t have many players on loan. We have very few out of the first team — only two are on loan. We believe in having contractual rights, because that makes a better commitment between the team and its players.



    We then formed four groups: one was players who were playing on the same team in Argentina; others from our youth development program, another group which had been champions on one other team, in this case, América, and the others who have been champions with national teams. If you’ll allow this expression, rather than gluing one to another in different ways, what we needed was to glue four groups, and to be honest, that took less time than we actually thought. Going in, we knew we would have committed players in good condition, with the technical qualities we needed in football, who were very committed to the team and to the growing process. We knew that the football would come as a result. Yes, it was tough, because we had five games without winning, but then we went six games without losing and made a Liguilla with five games which allowed us to be champions. We don’t really focus on individual game results, rather, we are more oriented to the process itself. Of course we’re very happy to bring the championship home to our fans and we are very committed going forward.



    SL: Why was it so important for you to keep your faith in Pedro when the public was calling for you to let him go?



    AI: We are (committed) to the process. I don’t think that we are a boat that sails and changes its direction because the wind blew or a big wave came. That’s always going to happen. We’re clear on where we going and how we are going to get there. We value the fans who have so much passion, and the interests (and opinions) of third parties. Even though our fans are the most important things in the world to us as managers, and as an institution, if I had taken the advice of the fans and the end result didn’t work, who would be accountable? Again, in my previous business, I would do the same. I think you need to stick to the basics. The basics for us is the process and not just two, three, or seven games.

  2. tricoloured ribbon



    09:00 on 8 June, 2015



    Only if we can afford it mate, Rangers spent when they couldn’t afford it and they went out the game, sevco spent £70m + and can’t get out the championship, spend what we have wisely and we’ll be fine HH

  3. solmick



    Thanks for your resonse, will get him to sign up



    for it. I will be taking it up too as i know all the money



    goes to Celtic.



    Called him elderly, i am 64 mysel, LOL



    cheers HH

  4. South Of Tunis on

    Ireland 0 -England 0



    ” The only highlight was the final whistle ”



    Italian journo -8 6 15..



    Didn’t see it but the match reports in the European press suggest it was state of the art mediocrity.

  5. foghorn leghorn on

    from the paper this morning



    “‘Asteroid impact will destroy civilisation this September”



    so please be aware of this anyone planning on booking hotels etc for european games



    there’s a very slim chance that the asteroid will miss us but its unlikely so wouldnt want you wasting your money if the games dont happen



    celtic have also said that they are only signing players on contracts lasting until the end of september



    the clubs head groundsman has also said the event may have a slightly detrimental effect on the pitch



    New Sevco supremo Dave King has said the asteroid strike should improve Ibrox Stadium by providing a natural solution to the asbestos problems, saving the club from hiring expensive contractors (who probably wouldnt get paid anyway)




  6. A year into Ronny’s reign… Does CQN think we are in a better position this summer?

  7. leftclicktic on



    I will tell you when the windae “SLAMS” shut,


    Though Imho we are on the right path.

  8. The Pantaloon Duck on

    I reckon the current position is approximately 18.88% better than at this time last year.

  9. yorkbhoy



    10:31 on 8 June, 2015



    Definitely, the manager knows what he’s got and what he needs, at the beginning of last season it was more mix and match and hope for the best.


    Think we could be in for a great season HH

  10. Cumsalford et al



    I remember going up to the old chapel, down Westmuir St I think, was the old school in Salamanca St ?



    Mrs McMillan rings a bell



    I lived in Malcolm Street, no 5, so only 100 metres or so from school gate.



    Left for Garthamlock in 1962. Went to St Thenogs, ST Modens in Cranhill for a while, then down to St Gregory’s behind the old Dalriada on Edinburgh Road





    This time last season we had an unknown quantity as manager and some unsettled players.



    With the exception-possibly-of Virgil,that has changed. But tbh,the results in the qualifiers will tell us.

  12. Captain Beefheart on




    I concur with leftclick. Any progress could be damaged badly if we repeat previous mistakes. Our striker scouting has been pathetic but other areas have been scouted intelligently.



    We should not tolerate another Euro shambles. Beating Scottish crap is fine but resonates with nobody but ourselves.



    I believe in our manager.

  13. bobby murdoch’s curled-up winklepickers



    08:49 on 8 June, 2015





    About a fortnight ago,a guy overtook me like a bliddy idiot,on a blind spot too. Van all marked up in his company logo,etc.



    About a week later,he drew up behind me at the lights in Oxford,just before we hit the road back to Swindon.



    Bugger me backwards if I didnae stall it twice. Canny remember the last time I did that.






    Didnae splutter ma tea over the keyboard, but I did have a good chuckle on two counts…



    One – the phrase, bugger me backwards. Haven’t heard it for yonks. Funneeee.


    Two – the thought of Mr Van Man fuming behind the wheel wondering how the hell someone can (ahem) stall the car twice. Hahaha.





    Tried to move off in sixth gear. Not recommended. Especially wi the handbrake on.

  15. yorkbhoy @ 10:31,



    In the all round scheme of things I think we are, the UCL qualifiers will be conclusive evidence. But I would say yes.



    The main reason for me is we have a coaching staff that can make players better. That is huge in my book. It was Brian Clough’s forte.



    Also Ronny seems to have an eye for a player, it’s early days yet so it could be more luck than judgement but I’ve seen Enuff to believe.



    If you compare and contrast the way that RD dealt with “want away” Guidetti with NL’s dealings with “want away” Hooper I think you can see when it comes to player management we are in a much better place.



    Also the time away in January and the change in the team was a revelation.



    Professionalism, Attitude, Application and Fitness all improved IMO.



    Hail Hail





    Did Mrs McMillan look like Quasimodo?




  17. pmarsh22



    I moved to Garthamlock in 1955 from Edmiston St. Went to St Thenog’s then the Greg in 1960.



    Left there in 66 or thereabouts.



    I was an alter boy at St Mungo’s until 1964.



    Fr Sullivan, went to St Columkilles(sp) Fr Riordan, Fr O’Neill, Fr Brosnan.



    The first priest in Garthamloch was Fr Murray. He was a tyrant in the nicest possible way.



    I remember one Sunday and Orange hordes were marching past the chapel. He got us all outside and had us singing Faith of Our Fathers!!



    They were the days.





    I hope you weren’t singing it in a ‘those over there’ way…



    (See previous post about sanctimonious eejit teacher)

  19. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Dave King will today jet in to Glasgow, fully intent on restoring Rangers to their rightful place at the top of Scottish and European football.


    First on the new chairman’s agenda will be installing a new manager capable of leading the light blues back to the top.


    It will not have escaped King’s attention that Carlo Ancelotti and Jurgen Klopp are both currently available. Furthermore, neither have yet ruled themselves out of the position. It is believed that a “dream team” of Ancelotti as manager, with Klopp his assistant, is the preferred option of the Ibrox power-brokers.


    Players such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Marco Reus would be expected to team up with their old bosses, with more big names almost certain to follow.


    Next on King’s to-do list will be to start work on the £650 million casino, complete with hover pitch.


    Before the South African based billionaire departs he will be keen to show Mike Ashley who is boss, so expect some form of public humiliation.


    If you want to see these star players at Ibrox next season, please buy your season ticket today. Call 0870 MOONBEAMS .


    Right – where’s the lamb?

  20. Once again problems logging onto the site, this is starting to be annoying. how long before people get fed up and just disappear. Somebody has obviously set this up how about fixing it!! H H Hebcelt

  21. Glad to see most posters are positive. I do agree that the transfer window will be crucial to how we do in Europe. I would love to see how Ronny deals with Champion league matches.

  22. hebcelt


    I usually lurk from work, on the old PC, but have found it really hard to get on at times. It freezes my screen, and I am now getting IE errors which I never had previously.


    (admittedly this may not be connected , but it happened at the same time as the changes on here.???)


    Like you said, it is certainly putting me off logging on as much as before.








    I asked WINNINGCAPTAINS about it the other day.



    His reply was along the lines that it is not affecting the platforms he uses to access the site,so doesn’t think the problem exists/is as bad as loads of posters suggest.



    Make of that what you will,there has clearly been no effort to change things.





    My IT dept at work mailed me about my PC attempting to access blocked sites.



    All of them autorouted when I logged on to CQN.



    It’s a conspiracy,I tell ye. But seriously,we should not be logged straight on to any site other than the one we have chosen.

  25. Burgas Hoops on



    11:03 on


    8 June, 2015


    Once again problems logging onto the site.



    Got to be your end? i’ve had no problems at all sometimes 3 pop-ups appear when i log-on but they are easy closed.

  26. South Of Tunis on

    Those pain in the ass ads .



    I have no problem on anything Apple or a Smartphone .- but – using a Lenovo lap top / Windows 8 with Ad Blocker sees my access to the site being blocked by the Italian State in consequence of the presence of adverts encouraging gambling – 888 Casino Online seems to be the main culprit.



    I suspect this is DCK attempt at cyber crime (well he’s tried every other type)


    His way to scupper the good feeling going amonst us fellow tims.


    He will not succeed, even with all his £billions He He..



  28. bobby murdoch’s curled-up winklepickers



    I made up a snag list over the weekend and have a meeting to resolve as many of the issues raised.



    South of Tunis – that ad needs to get an agreed number of impressions so we honour the agreement. Almost there and won’t be renewed so that will help you.



    Haven’t read further back – just popped in for five mins.

  29. Parkheadcumsalford





    09:50 on



    8 June, 2015





    For all those who went to St Michael’s, Fr O’Rourke is celebrating his Diamond Jubilee on the 28th June. Those who went to the old school may remember he used to play football with us in Salamanca Street.



    *is that Fr O’Rourke who was a pastor down at St Kessog’s. If so gave us some great garden fetes.





    Now,don’t be confusing WINNINGCAPTAINS wi a glib and shameless liar.



    Our guy has some cash behind him.





    I’m pretty sure you are doing your best,mate. Honestly. My IT dept don’t bother me any more than a wasp in winter. But some people are clearly having problems.



    Glad you’re on the case,bud.

  32. I used to feel jealous of those who had moved from Parkhead to the likes of Easterhouse before schools were built out there. They were allowed out of school about 15 minutes before the rest of us to get their buses back home.



    I had a classmate from Malcolm Street: John McCourt, I think. There might have been more.

  33. Mountblow tim on

    Good Morning CQN


    Hope you are all well






    Hope all’s well after your visit to the hospital with your foot


    In my thoughts BIG pal



    Take care



    Delaneys Dunky



    Hope you had a great night on Friday with the family


    All the best



    Hail Hail




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